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Somalia: Gen. Muhoozi reveals why Al-Shabaab attacked UPDF base, killed 54 soldiers

The Senior Presidential Advisor in charge of Special Operations Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has condoled with UPDF Peace Keepers serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) over the tragic incident in Buulomareer which happened on 26 May 2023.

Meeting UPDF Officers and Men at base camp in Mogadishu, Gen Muhoozi said, “I have come to condole with you for the demise of our fallen combatants. Let us have a one-minute silence to pray for their souls. May their souls rest in peace and a quick recovery for the injured.”

Gen Muhoozi informed the peacekeepers that the strategic leadership has identified the weaknesses which caused Al-Shabaab to attack and overran the Buulomareer camp, saying these were both tactical and external factors that need to be addressed. He cautioned troops not to relax because of ATMIS drawdown but to instead be more aggressive.

He further noted that withdrawal operations if not well planned can cause a lot of damage than any other phase of the operation.

Using the Kiswahili word ‘Sitasita’, Gen Muhoozi cautioned troops of the dangers involved with hesitation.
He said failure to decide in time automatically leads to death. “In war sitasita (hesitation) is very dangerous. It leads to death and eventual defeat. The survivors told me they expected Al-Shabaab attack but they didn’t react until the enemy reached nearer and this broke command and control,” Gen Muhoozi reminisced.

Buulomareer lies astride River Shabelle which is an agricultural subregion in drought-prone Somalia. Farmers irrigate their crops using tractors and donkeys throughout the night. This phenomenon led the troops to delay to react thinking the lights in the gardens were from farmers.

Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has been in Somalia for the last five days meeting UPDF commanders and staff, survivors of the Buulomareer incident and hospitalised troops at Level 11 hospital.

He also visited the Somali State house where he met the President of the Federal Government of Somalia H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Source: Defence Ministry

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